So I got to tag along on this years 8th grade California Science trip... Meaning I chased 12 of the 110 students that rode a bus from Blackfoot, Idaho, to San Diego, California, see all of the sites, and then ride all the way back.
What. An. Experience. It was a ton of fun with many, many memories made along the way.
So day one. Whats more fun than waking up at 5 a.m., loading all your crap up on the bike, and riding off to meet the bus? Well, sleeping in comes to mind, but that wasn't an option.
We got everyone checked in, loaded all of the luggage, and trundled off down the freeway. We had THREE buses- 2 full size MCI's and a Ford Superduty "Truck Bus". After only an hour or two we started having some overheating issues with our bus, which after a few freeway roadside stops it was decided the temp gauge was off so we continued on our way. Hmmm....
One of the bus-fulls of kids:
First stop was the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Ut. Cool stuff!
Of course, our boys had more fun in the little kid play area...
After a few hours there we loaded up, got some new drivers, and headed down the road again.
New drivers... Wow. Our buses were a little new to them and shifting turned out to be quite a challenge. ESPECIALLY on the crazy road up through Panguitch, Ut, to get to our next stop: Bryce Canyon.
Originally, we had planned on doing the Queens Garden hike but because of SEVERAL stops to check the overheating bus and reeallly slow going up all the switchbacks, we ended up doing the Navajo Loop trail, which was incredible!
How do you get 110 13 year olds through a canyon!? Very carefully!!!
Beautiful place. I'm going to have to go back there and do some more exploring! SO- now it's getting later, 7 or 8 in the evening. Load 'em all back up and trundle off to the next stop- Mcdonalds for dinner. Our bus made it in decent time... but the OTHER big bus blew a rad hose. We unloaded our boys and sent our bus back for the other bus. Spent the next FIVE HOURS at Mcdonalds waiting for the bus to get fixed. Ug. What to do at Mcdonalds for 5 hours....
Sit around? Charge your cell phone?
Lay down on the bus once it got back from rescuing stranded students and try and sleep?
Sure, why not.
Note to self- Don't let the students sleep on the lawn next time... When the sprinklers kick on they aren't happy when you laugh at them. Or maybe that note should read: Be sure to have the video camera ready next time.
They finally got the other bus fixed. Of course, then the good bus had a DEAD BATTERY. We finally ended up getting out of there at 3 a.m. and picked up some fuel and new drivers again in St. George, Ut.
What a loooonnnnngggggg day. Hope it gets better from here on out!